Tankformers’ Eli Evans is over one minute ahead of the field at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally after this morning’s four stages in the forests around Nannup at round two of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship.
Evans and co-driver Ben Searcy, in a Skoda Fabia R5, started the morning in third, 1.7 seconds behind early leader Toyota Genuine Parts Harry Bates after last night’s two runs of the Trade Hire Busselton Super Special Stage.
Evans stunned the competition, winning this morning’s first stage by 15.5 seconds and extended his lead every stage to hold a one minute, eight second lead heading into the lunch-time service.
Pushing to stay in contact with Evans, Bates and co-driver McCarthy came to grief on the fourth stage of the morning, the Yaris AP4 finishing on its side. Both Bates and McCarthy were unhurt in the incident and are assessing damage, hoping to continue their event.
Contel Communications’ Steve Glenney sits second with Sky Refrigeration’s Glen Raymond in third, one minute and 46 seconds off the lead.
Subaru do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor is in fourth, 42 seconds behind Raymond and WA locals Brad Markovic and Toni Feaver round out the top five.
Lewis Bates was lucky to escape damage when he and Dale Moscatt had a high-speed spin on SS6 and Adrian Coppin and Erin Kelly are attempting to repair their Skoda Fabia R5 on stage after suffering a broken control arm on the second stage of the day.
The Make Smoking History Forest Rally continues with a further four stages this afternoon before teams return to Busselton for a blast around the Trade Hire Busselton Super Special Stage this evening.
Visit www.rally.com.au for all your results, news and video across the weekend.
ARC Top Ten Heat 1 – after six stages
1. #4 EVANS/SEARCY 40:50.8
2. #3 GLENNEY/SARANDIS 41:59.4 (+01:08.6)
3. #6 RAYMOND/CATFORD 42:37.1 (+01:46.3)
4. #5 TAYLOR/READ 43:19.4 (+02:28.6)
5. #9 MARKOVIC/FEAVER 44:15.2 (+03:24.4)
6. #14 O’DOWD/WILDE 45:35.8 (+04:45.0)
7. #10 BATES/MOSCATT 46:14.3 (+05:23.5)
8. #13 MORTON/PENNY 46:29.1 (+05:38.3)
9. #12 DUNKERTON/DUNKERTON 46:32.7 (+05:41.9)
10. #15 KAPLAN/PENNEY 51:21.4 (+10:30.6)